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The Writing Process Blog Tour

April 17, 2014
Hey, I want to thank Dean Rader for inviting me on this cool international Writing Process Blog tour.  You can read about Dean’s responses to the prompts about writing and the writing process at
Here’s my copy of Dean’s book, it’s currently sitting on the kitchen counter, well, it’s not a kitchen counter, it’s actually a taxicab-yellow bar with matching barstools where my friends and I hang out, drink wine, and talk about “best books ever.”  I tend to stack up cool books here that I read in the a.m. while drinking an espresso shot and a granola bar.  (I’m lying about the granola bar.  I hate granola.)   I’m not lying about reading poetry with my morning coffee, though.  Try it instead of wolfing down one of those heinous granola bars. You’ll lose weight I guarantee it. “Reading Instead of Eating” is my exclusively formulated weight loss program.  For paypal instructions to download “Reading For Losers” see my next blog post.  Ah-hem, back to Dean’s books.  Wow, this guy can poet.  He is the author of Works & Days, winner of the 2011 T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize, and, the beautifully crafted Landscape Portrait Figure Form.  He’s also a scholar and author of Engaged Resistance: American Indian Art, Literature, and Film from Alcatraz to the NMAI, and Speak to Me Words: Essays on Contemporary American Indian Poetry, among a gazillion other things.
LeAnne Howe Answers The Questions
1.  What are you working on?
  • A novel set in the Middle East and Oklahoma in 1913-1917, & 2011 with a Choctaw protagonist, or two.
  • A chapbook of poems on Mary Todd Lincoln.
  • A new play co-authored with actress and playwright Monique Mojica titled,  Sideshow Freaks and Circus Injuns.  (In rehearsals this summer in Toronto, Ontario.)
  • A couple of scholarly books.
2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?
  • That’s hard to say because I write in different genres.  The novel I’m working on is composed of many different genres woven together.  In a way its a continuation of the work I began in Miko Kings: An American Indian Baseball Story, 2007,
3. Why do you write what you do?
  •  I’m afraid I can’t do anything else.  
  • Well, there are a couple of other things I can do.  
  • Maybe I would rather live inside of books.  See the above paragraph.
  • Seriously, I began writing about Choctaws because I am Choctaw and so few were writing fiction and poetry about our tribe.  Happily that has changed.  And as an artist I have changed too, and my writing is developing in new directions that I could not have imagined even five years ago.
4. How does your writing process work?
  • The story tells me what I’m working on.  I let the voice develop the form I’m writing.  Sometimes it’s only a line that I begin with, and frequently I don’t know what I’m working on until the body begins to take shape.  I also think I become a new writer with each book I finish. 

Up Next is the Fabulous Heid Erdrich

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHere’s another book that sits on my taxicab-yellow bar.  I frequently grab Cell Traffic, 2012, first thing in the morning for an eye-opener.  This amazing book gets me off to work and I teach it in my classes.  Heid and I have been friends for many years even after the time I nearly ran her down in the middle of the street in Austin, Texas, sometime after 1 am.  We were in Austin for the AWP conference and I was driving my brother’s big old Ford truck and couldn’t find the brake pedal as quickly as I would have liked.  Whew, was that a close call.  

Now for the serious stuff: Heid E. Erdrich is also the author of National Monuments which won a Minnesota Book Award in 2009.  Her new non-fiction book is Original Local: Indigenous Foods Stories and Recipes from the Upper Midwest, 2013. Heid is Ojibwe enrolled at Turtle Mountain. She engages the world in many forms, most recently through short poem films which you can see at

Thank you Heid for joining in The Writing Process Blog Tour.  Her answers to the questions are on her blog, Oh, and for those who don’t think they can strictly adhere to my “Reading Instead of Eating”  weight loss program, you can check out Heid’s newest book and prepare a delicious indigenous breakfast while sipping your morning java.
But whatever you do, read!
original local cover


3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 17, 2014 10:04 am

    Thanks/Miigwech, LeAnne & Dean! My answers are at:

  2. Jay Watson permalink
    April 17, 2014 10:40 am

    LeAnne…Yakoke for the updates…..Best Regards-Jay


    Date: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:20:05 +0000 To:

  3. LeAnne Howe permalink
    April 17, 2014 12:17 pm

    You are welcome, Heid!

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